Friday, October 21, 2005

Some people...

Some people deserve what they get...others do not. Some people give while others only take. Some people love while others only hate and some people pick themselves up constantly despite being knocked down time and again. I feel like one of the latter. Someone who just wants to be happy despite the bullshit.

It's hard to be bright and happy when you've felt as though your family has been under attack for years and all you want is justice and the right to retain what is rightfully yours.

Many don't know the details or the plight. It's depressing and stressful to talk about and when I do, I get agitated and mad at a man who uses connections for the wrong reasons and a country that is so behind the times. But I will now...the saga isn't completely over. More is to come...and how long this will take is beyond me but I can only hope that what happened today will open the eyes of many who protected the man who took so much away from all of us. From me, my brother, my sister, my mother but most importantly, from my father.

Four years ago, we began the battle to get a house back in Nicaragua. It is a house that has been in our family for five generations. My father grew up in this house and when he was younger, he dreamed of retiring back in Nicaragua. To find some repose after years of difficult blue collar work to support three kids. But after so many years in the states...he got used to the fog and I think a small part of it had to do that he couldn't bear to be far away from me. I'm the youngest...the only one he was allowed to hold right after being born and the bond between father and daughter became forever strong. Sure he drives me crazy and we don't see eye to eye but that's to be expected when there is a 47 year age gap.

About 6 years ago, my father decided to rent the house in Nicaragua. My great-aunt passed away and it was just sitting empty. Renting that house was the biggest mistake of our lives. Never did we think that man who rented the house was corrupt, a liar, an opportunist and a thief. Four years ago, he decided he didn't need to pay rent anymore and that he made enough home improvements to the house that wasn't even his...and improvements which he didn't actually do. And in his sick and twisted mind, he decided that the house was his and that he didn't need to pay rent anymore.

The court system in Nicaragua is still very corrupt. Many of the judges are old timers who were there under Sandinista rule and if someone is willing to grease their hand a little, they'll swing whatever way the money will despite who is right and who is wrong. We aren't that way. We believe in justice instead of out and out greed. The renter was lucky enough to have ties and connections and apparently money since he wasn't paying us rent to be greasing the hands of many a judge and many an attorney. Four years of headaches...four years of lies and four years of fighting to get back a house that was ours...IS ours. My great-grandfather is probably rolling over in his grave at the horror that we were so close to losing this house...HIS house to this monstrous man and his equally monstrous and selfish family. God forbid they WORK to retain property like my ancestors did...all in the hope of providing for their family and their family and so on. THAT house is a legacy! And for four years my father battled appeal after appeal for whatever stupid little discrepancy the renter's attorney could find. In the back of his mind, my father worried about losing out on the legacy...what he had counted on to leave for his family. And today...there was a sweet reward. For two weeks we anticipated the eviction would be today. And we waited with bated breath what the outcome would be. If we would be thrown a wrench at the last minute. We weren't...my father was given the key the night before and went to the house this morning with the judge and the police to take possession of our home.

And I think that FINALLY the judge realized what sort of a BASTARD we had been dealing with for the better part of a decade. What sort of man everyone protected. The fact that we had to plead with the President to ask for help and assignment of someone who could help us in this case. My mother pleaded with the President because my father was too proud to ask for help from a distant relative that he barely knew. Yes...the prez is a relative. My mother wasn't so much...we needed help. We needed a "clean" attorney. We were refused by so many attorneys because the renter was friends with everyone it seemed like, from his Sandinista days.

As with many things...there is a good side and a bad side. The good is that we now have possession of the house. The bad is that he took everything. All the antique furniture my aunt stupidly left in the house because she was to lazy to find storage. All of it...gone. All the wires from the electrical sockets...ripped out. Sink basins and toilets...stolen. Garden....dug up. Water bill and electric bill...left unpaid. He raped my entire family by doing this. He took everything, he sucked us dry. The money to fix the electrical, the garden, change the locks, pay the bills in default, buy an iron gate and hire a securty guard. It is endless. I hope my parents realize that this is done. To fix the house, sell it and just settle here. The only thing that Nicaragua holds for me...for us..is family. There is so much pain. This is the second attempt to get back property. We sold the first...this is the second. If you don't live there...it's not worth it. As beautiful as the country is, the people are opportunists. Who needs to live somewhere where people rob each other in such a blantant disregard of possessions and property.

The destruction was intentional and I hope to God...there being one...that his hand strikes down hard, heavy and precise. Justice still needs to be served in my eyes. Again, we must go through court proceedings to claim stolen property. My mother is besides herself at the loss of all that furniture. I hope this situation opened the judge's eyes. We are not dealing with a "respected member of society". He is a criminal and needs to be dealt with accordingly. May he rot in jail and may his family suffer as much as ours.

My father is thousands of miles away and I feel the intense need to be with him. I don't think he should be alone. He is 77 years old. He doesn't need this kind of stress. He should be relaxing and enjoying retirement instead of working to get a house back to it's former colonial beauty and protecting it from blatant criminals. To putter around the garden, to walk around the house with his TV Guide "bible", to bicker with my crazy mom and to tell me I am right and mom is crazy. I miss my dad. He's been gone since February and even though I was lucky enough to see him for a week in July...that isn't enough. With this second proceeding, who knows when he will come back . His man has robbed months and years of quality time between me and my dad in his golden years. He is not a young man...nor is he a healthy man but my dad is a workhorse.

And from thousands of miles away, I think about how much my dad has dealt with...oftentimes, alone. All for the sake of family...and I think about the man who almost took it all away...who still managed to escape with much...and I feel such deep and intense hatred that it makes me mad and sad. Mad that someone is so fucking blind at the justices of the world and the simple concept of right vs. wrong and sad that I can feel such hatred for someone else and of the time taken away from my father.

I can only hope that justice be served in one form or another...

1 comment:

AM said...

(((Val))) I hope your dad is able to come home soon.

Hopefully that "renter" will go to hell, along with a certain CCD teacher and her family that I have issues with. If there isn't one already, there ought to be a special place in hell for people who seek to make a fortune off of someone else's lifetime of hard work and struggles.